The Night Of Love reviewed at Foxy Digitalis

This is a really old review but we must have missed it first time around. Thanks for listening!

Improvised music is, by its very nature, a dangerous art form. There is the ever present threat of meandering off into self gratifying jamming, the potential lack of non-verbal communication between participants, and all sorts of other ego-trips that come into play whenever a group of artists get together to improvise. It’s really an amazing feat that any decent music can be created this way, but when it works it can be a magical experience for musicians and listeners alike. “Burn Kids” is the second release from the Australian collective, The Night of Love, and it displays many of the great and not-so-great features that can define this particular school of experimental music.

The disc starts off on the right foot with the opening track, “Anywhere but the Grave”. It plays to the bands strengths with a keen emphasis on barely audible sounds that actively focus the silence that surrounds them. The track instantly creates a space around itself which feels very closed in and full of a potential to explode at any moment. A dull engine drones in and out of focus as other textural sounds move closer and farther away from the listener, water gurgles in the background, and a massive ripping sound threatens to overtake everything. This piece, along with the second and third tracks displays a level of focus and intent that I find lacking from the second half of the disc.

There are still moments of brilliant, restrained clarity in the later tracks, but they are overshadowed by unfortunate elements like a chaotic percussive approach akin to knocking various objects off of shelves in a garage and atonal melodic explorations that feel uninspired. Add to these elements the general fatigue that sets in after listening to a half hour of free-form music, and I’m left feeling like this should have been an EP rather than a full length affair. This group’s strength is in their focused restraint and they shine brightest in their quietest moments. I’m curious to hear how they develop and further push themselves.
6/10 — Charles Franklin (19 May, 2009)


Lucia Draft – A Pile Of Skeletons

Lesstalk Records have kindly made Lucia Draft‘s fantastic debut EP A Pile Of Skeletons availabe for free download from their bandcamp site. It has been unavailable for some time now, having sold out almost immediately upon release. A new EP is being worked on now, and will be out through Monstera Deliciosa sometime in the future. Lucia Draft is the solo project of Morgan Cabot, who has also performed with New GuavaBoysclub, The Night Of Love, and Rotted Crow.

The Night Of Love – Winter Tragic 2008

Just uncovered from the archives, a short excerpt of The Night Of Love performing at their only live appearance to date, at the Winter Tragic Festival back in 2008. The Night of Love is the sometimes recording project of geographically divided musicians Yusuke Akai, Grant Hunter, Daiji Igarashi, Nik Mayer-Miller, Nicholas French, Morgan Cabot, and Scott McConnachie. Their albums Now You’re Infected!!! and Burn Kids are still available on CDR from Monstera Deliciosa.

New Weird Australia – Volume Two

The latest volume of the fantastic New Weird Australia free compilation series is now available, and once again it features a diverse selection of weird and wonderful tunes of the Australian underground musical landscape, this time around including unreleased tracks from our pals Lucia Draft (Morgan Cabot from The Night Of Love), Transmissions, and Cock Safari.

On one side, the world is sold on paradisal visions of Australian reefs and plains, care-free surfers racing down golden sands, and the classic long-shot of a sun-blemished Uluru. On the flip, with just as much fervour, we mythologise and peddle stories of perpetual gangland warfare, malevolent outback serial killers and dingoes eating babies for their morning snack.

If only the same warped duality could be brought to bear on the world’s vision of our musical worth. The exported track record is however largely one-sided – our place as the shiny, electro party-starter of the Southern Hemisphere is unrivalled, along with a seemingly endless passion for rock, culled from a 40-year old tombstone. Ask the world to identify a prominent Australian undercurrent and they will remain largely tight-lipped. Hence New Weird Australia – a project aimed as much at curating a contemporary library of alt-Australiana, as promoting that collection to the rest of the globe.

New Weird Australia Volume Two, September 2009, NWA002

1. OCEANS, 02 + 03 (5:11) From ‘Oceans’
2. GHOUL, Swimming Pool (Remix) (3:04) From ’Swimming Pool’
3. WILLIAM GARDINER, Sonance Arboreal (4:39) Previously unreleased
4. SAM PRICE, AutoHackney (5:28) From ‘Rand’
5. BROKEN CHIP, Summer Stars (5:06) From ‘POWWOW Seven’
6. KHARKOV, Crustacean (3:12) Previously unreleased
7. COCK SAFARI, 8MH (6:36) Previously unreleased
8. LUCIA DRAFT, Not Interested (1:16) Previously unreleased
9. MIELI, Hometime (3:34) Previously unreleased
10. KAROSHI, Re-Animate Me (2:44) Previously unreleased
11. NO ART, Fight In The Nocturnal House (3:56) Previously unreleased
12. TRANSMISSIONS, Staring At Lightning Strikes, Catching Every One (2:45) Previously unreleased
13. PANOPTIQUE ELECTRICAL, We Was Them (7:32) Previously unreleased
14. MADDEST KINGS ALIVE, Measels (4:05) Previously unreleased
15. SPLENDID FRIENDS, Holy Shears (1:42) From ‘Summer Moon Illusion’
16. PAUL FIOCOO, Torsions and Drifts (13:34) From ‘Torsions And Drifts’

Compiled by Stuart Buchanan & Danny Jumpertz
Artwork by Grant Hunter

Standard Quality, 192 kbps (103MB) | Higher Quality, 320kbps (159MB, via Rapidshare)

The Night Of Love reviewed at Mess&Noise

Now You’re Infected!!! is the debut album by The Night Of Love, a psychedelic improv outfit with members based in Brisbane and Newcastle.

Most of the 12-strong ensemble play in other bands such as Crab Smasher, Brassskulls and Taste of Teeth to name just a few, and while this album was only released a little earlier this year the band’s second album Burn Kids is already out, indicating a prolificacy reminiscent of their US stylistic counterparts (Sunburned Hand of the Man, Sun City Girls, even a fraction of Animal Collective’s output).

As such, you might know immediately what to expect: long freeform jams, extended ritualistic dirges, strange unidentifiable sounds, and the occasional lapse into rhythmic coherence to break the monotony up a bit. You’d only be half correct.

The Night Of Love — entirely spontaneous and unencumbered by foresight on the surface — still sounds like a group that has determined exactly the textural path it wishes to explore. Maintaining focus when the combined ill whims of 12 musicians could gash the tenebrous fabric of this music is alone indicative of flair.

The music itself is rich with detail, and contained within an almost tactilely damp, occult-like atmosphere. ‘To Stay Here Is Like Dying’ is a 15-minute practice in tension: the roughshod percussion and hardly-played guitars palpably drag like chain on cement, while ‘One Claw In Eight’ gives way to a taut detuned funk, a sense of unease maintained by oppressive reverberation and barely audible monotone pitches. It feels like the ceiling is slowly lowering to crush.

Of course, like most ‘weird’ bands, there’s an almost parodic grimness to what they do, an awareness that the ‘evil’ they conjure is mere caricature.

It’s clear when — as the band wraps up the final funk-laden track — there’s a sudden, disconcerting explosion of laughter. The perspective is almost relieving, as the Night of Love are assured specialists in ambiguity. It’s open-ended music, and whether it’s monumentally dark or just cleverly deceptive is, apparently, all up to the listener.

by Shaun Prescott